Fix The Irish Driving Test Backlog!

Fix The Irish Driving Test Backlog!

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Michael D started this petition to Road safety authority and

43,192 driving test applicants in Ireland are in the dark about a when they will be able to take their test.

The Irish Times report that driving test applicants face up to an eight-month wait for test appointments across the country. Anyone seeking to be certified to drive on Irish roads is facing an unprecedented backlog of tests due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The article linked above suggests "it will be the second quarter of next year before new testers can make significant inroads in the backlog". The measures implemented to-date by Minister for Transport (Eamon Ryan TD) & the RSA are inadequate to make a meaningful impact on the anxious wait faced by tens of thousands of applicants. These measures have included:

  • Rehiring "up to" 19 testers whose contracts have expired.
  • Increasing number of tests a driving tester can take (now 6 daily, still not at pre-COVID level of 8).
  • Scheduling "overtime" and Saturday testing (although no clarity on how many new appointments this can facilitate).
  • Hiring unknown amount of new testers (The RSA admits it will be Late Spring/Summer of 2021 before an impact is made by these new recruits).

Although these measures are welcomed, they are inadequate in terms of the situation Ireland faces in the coming months. Current public health advice pleads with people to stay off public transport as much as possible even under lower levels of restriction. As COVID cases rise in the winter months, people will rely on cars (not cycle lanes) to make essential journeys; e.g. education, work, family emergencies, grocery shopping. This petition aims to attain:

  1. A "Likely Appointment Window" Webpage - A webpage that can give new and existing applicants an expected test date 'window' (week, fortnight, month) during which their test will most likely be scheduled. Even if subject to change, it would provide a degree of comfort and keep applicants in the loop. It is unfair to advise applicants "Your test will be sometime in the next 8 months, we can't really say when".
  2. Further Comprehensive Action by the RSA and Department of Transport, giving more people a chance to prove that they deserve to be on the road. Hiring new testers should be a matter of urgency, and the testing of applicants should be considered an essential service. Driving lessons and testing are forms of education that a person will rely on for life... and deserve to be treated with similar priority that we have seen in schools and universities.
  3. Transparency, Openness & Localization - The RSA has sent one email on August 28th to applicants across the country which gave little/no comfort to people anxiously awaiting test dates.  It essentially delivered just a reminder of the magnitude of the wait to be expected. Furthermore, their contact forms online have been altered to redirect many driving test queries to a dead-end FAQ section. The RSA and Minister should consider this backlog to be priority, and unacceptable to have it linger until next summer while simultaneously having such a stunted, vague and one-way system of communicating.  

This petition aims to serve as a starting/supportive point which people can use to engage with local TDs in order to amplify these problems in Dáil Éireann. If we don't ask, we don't get.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!